Stove-top “baked” beans

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How could anyone read this post and not want to try them? (If you’d rather save yourself a click, it’s the Amateur Gourmet’s post on baked beans, which he says are “the best beans of your life”)

I have some issues with beans, though. It took me a really long time to figure out how to cook dried beans and not end up with either chalky little nuggets I couldn’t stomach, or a whole pot of flavorless mush. I tend to like canned beans, but I usually think baked beans are too sweet. So really, it wouldn’t take much to make these the best beans of my life.

I took some serious liberties with this recipe, because I don’t have a Dutch oven, I can’t find dried kidney beans, and I didn’t want to use bacon (or wait 6 WHOLE HOURS). But even with those rather significant changes, these really were fabulous (and I imagine that with the bacon, they would be even better).

Just sweet enough, and with a little bite, these beans held their shape and still got amazingly flavorful after just an hour and a half on top of the stove. I can promise you, you’ll never want to go back to canned baked beans again!
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Recipe
(inspired by Barefoot Contessa via Amateur Gourmet)

2 cans kidney beans
1 small onion, diced
2 tbsp veg oil
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Drain the beans and reserve the liquid.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add the onions. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
Add the beans, ketchup, maple syrup, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, and a pinch of salt. Stir well.
Turn heat down to low, so that the mixture simmers. Partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for an hour. If the beans begin to look dry, stir in some of the liquid from the cans.
Taste and adjust the seasonings.
Cook for an additional thirty minutes, then serve.

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